There are three types of nonimmigrant tourist visas for the USA: B1 visas (for business), B2 visas (for tourism or medical treatment), and combination B1/B2 visas (when the reason for visiting is business and tourism (and/or medical treatment).
Citizens of PRC need to obtain one of these types of visas, and register with EVUS, in order to visit the USA. An EVUS visa is attached to a specific B1/B2 visa and cannot be transferred from an expired visa to a new one.
The U.S. Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security follow a strict process. The B1/B2 US visa application is much more thorough and normally involves a formal interview at a US embassy or consulate. There are a number of US tourist visa requirements.
A B2 visitor visa is issued to applicants who wish to travel to the United States for tourism or medical treatment. This is a short-term nonimmigrant visa, usually valid for 6 months. B2 visa holders are allowed to engage in the following activities during their stay in the US.
B2 visas do not allow visitors to engage in temporary or permanent work. It is necessary to obtain a US Work Visa to be able to receive payment.
The B1 Business Visa is issued to those who wish to travel to the United States for a business-related purpose. Applicants must meet certain B1 visa eligibility requirements in order to be able to successfully apply. B1 Business visas normally allow stays of up to six months and allow visitors to engage in the following activities:
Visitors entering with a B1 US Visa cannot carry out any paid activity. To be able to work in the U.S. and receive payment, they require an American Work Visa. The class of a Work Visa varies and depends on a range of factors including the candidate’s skills, nationality, education and qualifications, and profession.
The US tourist visa duration depends on the needs of the traveler and what is permitted by the authorities. The validity period ranges between one and ten years and it can be used multiple times over this period as long as the total number of days spent in the US is not longer than 180 days in any year duration.
The standard length of stay for a B1/B2 visa is 6 months though the maximum length is one year. It is possible to extend the duration to a year if you are originally issued a visa with a six-month maximum duration. It is necessary to provide a range of supporting documentation including proof that you can finance your stay.
Aside from EVUS, there are numerous different types of US tourist visas. Citizens of 38 countries can enroll with ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) and there are also a number of American visas that are designed for other nationalities.
EVUS visas are specifically designed for citizens of the PRC (People’s Republic of China). Chinese citizens need to obtain a B1/B2 non-immigrant visa (in order to travel there for tourism, business, or medical treatment) in addition to enrolling with EVUS.
ESTA is not technically a visa. It is a US VWP (Visa Waiver Program) which has been designed to be simple and quick to apply for. It is designed for tourism and business purposes.
ESTA visas are valid for two consecutive years and they allow for trips of up to 90 consecutive days. Visitors can enter the U.S. multiple times with ESTA as long as the total number of days spent in the country does not exceed 90 days in any 180-day period.
The ESTA application usually takes around 15 minutes to complete per applicant. Once it has been submitted and approved, the applicant receives an electronic copy by email. Applications are normally processed within 72 hours.
ESTA is a visa waiver, meaning that it is not necessary to apply for a conventional visa in addition to ESTA. The ESTA visa waiver is linked to a specific passport. If your passport expires before the two year validity period, it is necessary to apply for another ESTA.
Following is the full ESTA countries list. All foreign nationals who hold a passport from any of the countries listed below are eligible to apply for ESTA.
|New Zealand||Norway||Portugal||San Marino||Singapore|
If you wish to travel to the United States a B1 or B2 visa are both still valid. Nonetheless, the EVUS is an additional requirement under U.S. Immigration law in addition to the B1, B2 or B1/B visa.
The EVUS visa is meant to compliment your 10-year B1/B2 Visa. All individuals who travel to the United States should complete this requirement before departure. As of November 29, 2016 if you hold a 10-year B1, B2 or B1/B2 it is compulsory that you update your personal information every two years in the EVUS system.
Please note that the EVUS is not a visa as it does not meet the legal requirements to serve as one. To apply for an EVUS you must have a valid US visitor visa class B1, B2 or B1/B2. Once your EVUS is revised and approved it will be valid for multiple trips for two consecutive years unless the visa or the passport expire, whichever comes first.
If you have a valid visa in an expired passport and a new valid passport, you will be able to register for EVUS without having to apply for a new Visa. During the application process, enter your current visa information as well as the details of your new valid passport, which will be your primary passport.
As long as you have a valid visa, you will not need to apply for a new one when entering new passport information. When traveling to the United States, you will be required to present both the valid Passport and the expired Passport with the valid Visa.